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5 December 2005

Barrett demands urgent parliamentary debate on illegal ‘torture flights’

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, has today called for an urgent parliamentary debate on the use of Scottish airports as re-fuelling stops for so-called rendition flights.

Mr Barrett made the call following warnings from legal experts that the British Government is guilty of breaking international law if it has allowed secret CIA rendition flights of terror suspects to land at UK airports.

Aircraft operated by the CIA have flown in and out of civilian airports and RAF bases in the UK at least 210 times since September 11 2001. Edinburgh airport, which is in Mr Barrett’s constituency, has been used 14 times for rendition flights in the last 4 years.

In a statement, Mr Barrett said:

“At long last it seems that the sinister practice of “extra rendition” is getting the media attention it deserves. What the US government call rendition, others could call kidnapping. This practice simply cannot be allowed to continue.

"The transfer of individuals from one jurisdiction to another so that they can be treated more harshly is both immoral and illegal. Our government’s position of "hear no evil, see no evil" is simply unacceptable.

“Understandably many of my constituents are extremely concerned at the possibility that the UK government may be condoning kidnapping and torture.

“Condoleezza Rice must not be allowed to dodge the issue when she discusses the matter with Jack Straw. Meanwhile, I will keep up the fight to make sure that parliament is given the opportunity to debate this serious issue and hold the government to account.”

 

Notes

· John Barrett has requested an Adjournment debate on ‘The use of Scottish Airports for rendition flights’.

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